Formula 1MotoGP

MotoGP handled COVID-19 outbreak more effectively than F1 – Puig

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Credit: Repsol Honda Team

Alberto Puig, manager of the Repsol Honda MotoGP team, believes that the series had a more effective strategy to deal with the on-going COVID-19 outbreak compared to Formula 1.

The crisis has caused the cancellation of major sporting events worldwide, which include the first eight races of this year’s F1 season, and the first five races on the MotoGP calendar.

F1 suffered controversy after the sport made the decision at the eleventh hour to cancel the opening round of the Championship in Australia, after a member of McLaren F1 Team tested positive for the virus.

MotoGP took the decision to cancel the season-opening race in Qatar in a much more timely matter, as well as subsequent races due to be held in Thailand, America, Argentina and Spain.

In an interview with Motorsport.com, Puig was asked to comment on the difference between the two sport’s handling of the situation.

“I think we have to be very proud of the organiser of our Championship,” said the Spaniard.

Dorna has done things with its head, step-by-step, and always listening to the opinion of the health authorities [of every country].

“From there, it has been evaluating what could and could not be done, but it is very interesting how the entire group that works in the World Championship has been protected.

“”If we compare it with F1, with soccer institutions or with the International Olympic Committee – which have been very hesitant – Dorna has done what it had to do.”

Other sporting events have fallen victim to the outbreak, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – which will now be held next year – the European Football Championship has been cancelled altogether.

Puig praised the swift action taken by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, saying: “From the first moment, they [Dorna] was aware of the magnitude of the problem.

“And for that, you have to have clarity of ideas and be smart, and Carmelo Ezpeleta is,” he said.

It was confirmed last week by Dorna and MotoGP, alongside governing body FIM, that the Spanish Grand Prix, due to held at Jerez on 3 May, has been postponed, along with the next two races in France and Italy.

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F1 reporter for The Checkered Flag. Also a second year Journalism student at Robert Gordon University. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @findlaygrant5.
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